Wow, the weather has certainly changed quickly this year! I know that some of our members are new to gardening. I thought it might be helpful to share a few tips on how to garden in the Autumn. Please feel free to share with everyone your own tips and tricks on growing during the chilly weather!
1) Know your first frost date! Our average frost date (the first date we get temperatures at night at 32F or lower) is around Oct. 10-15th. You can plant fall crops by subtracting the days to maturity (found on the back of seed packets) from this date. For instance I planted some Swiss Chard at the beginning of September, about six weeks before our frost date. This weekend we will be getting close to have an early frost, keep an eye on the weather.
2) Protect your crops from the first frost. We often have a couple nights in the autumn where it gets really chilly and frosty but warms up during the day to at least the 60s. For those evenings you can cover your crops during the night with old sheets and blankets, remove the sheets during the day, and prolong your veggies a couple weeks.
3) Protect your Perennials. Some of you might have planted things that come back year after year, like strawberries. Do some research on how best to winterize those plants. Usually it means putting some extra straw or mulch around the plant to help it transition from hot to cold and provide extra insulation for super frigid winters.
4) Plant your Winter Crops. Do you dream of your very own garlic next year? I know I do! Now is a great time to start planting your garlic and other crops that need a good long winter to grow through.The garlic you plant now will be ready for harvest next August.
5) Think about Cover Crops. The garden will be discussing what we want to do for the winter. Our goals are to protect the soil against erosion, build the soil health, and keep things pleasant visually through Winter. One of the best ideas is planting a cover crop. If you are interested in deciding how we prepare the garden for the Winter, come to the next Executive Team Meeting September 15 at 7PM at Barriques. All members are welcome!